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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Tonight’s 4 Factors (@ LAC, 11/14/07)

After each game this season, we’ll be taking a look at what the four factors have to say about the game– how the winner won and the loser lost. For an intro to the four factors, see A Layman’s Guide to Advanced NBA Statistics.

Knicks lose to Clippers, 81-84

	Pace	Eff	eFG	FT/FG	OREB%	TOr
NYK	94.0	86.2	35.2%	29.6	35.3	21.3
LAC		89.4	39.4%	20.0	24.1	14.9

A few days ago after the miserable Miami loss, I lamented that it would be a small miracle if the Knicks held another opponent below 90 points per 100 possessions all season. Lo and behold, they did it again tonight. Unlike the Heat, the Clippers are not pushovers on offense– coming into the game they ranked 13th in the league at 107.3 points per 100 possessions. The Knicks held their eFG% below 40% and limited one of their offensive strengths, scoring from the free throw line.

However, just as in the Miami game, the offense once again failed the team. It wasn’t all bad. The offensive rebounding was exceptional, and New York had a good presence at the free throw line as well. But those good performances were offset by an awful 35.2 eFG% and an unacceptable but increasingly familiar TO rate north of 20 per 100 possessions.

What makes this one frustrating is that the poor shooting and ball handling included a bevy of blown layups and carelessness with the ball that could and should have been averted. Jamal Crawford was called for 2 carrying violations, adding to what must be his league-leading figure. New York completed the trifecta of unconscionable turnovers you’ll never even see in a high school game when Zach Randolph inexplicably handed Jamal Crawford the ball after a made Clippers basket rather than passing it. Eddy Curry checked in with a 3-second violation or two, though again he managed to keep his total respectable with only 2. When Eddy Curry is shaping up to have a career year in terms of limiting his turnovers and your team is still flirting with 20 TOs per 100 possessions, your team has problems.

Take one good sign away from this game– it was a good defensive performance against a team that isn’t merely inept on offense. If the Knicks can minimize their weakness and be something like the 20th placed team in defensive efficiency rather than the 26th, that is already a huge improvement. But again, to really go places they must be able to maximize their strength and consistently perform on the offensive end, where they do at least have the potential to be among the league’s better teams.


4 factor stats were acquired using the ESPN4Factors script by Cherokee of the ABPRmetrics board. Firefox users can use this script (after installing the Greasemonkey extension) to see 4 factor stats automatically displayed in all NBA boxscores on espn.com.

69 comments on “Tonight’s 4 Factors (@ LAC, 11/14/07)

  1. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, the Knicks really were more frustrating tonight than they were awful.

    Which, hopefully, can be corrected.

  2. Owen

    Always a scary moment for me when I come home, yes the Knicks lost, and that sucks, but did Lee have another bad game….

    let’s see….

    Hmmm, 18 minutes, WS of 10, 9 rebounds, five offensive, alright…

    Jon Abbey, I am pretty sure Eddy C is above average so far this season, feel the bubbles…

    Zach Randolph, 19 rebounds. 5-18, but 19 rebounds. Way to live up to expectations buddy…

  3. jon abbey

    Owen, Lee played great in the first half and barely saw any PT in the second half, it was ridiculous.

    we lost this game almost entirely because of Q, he never should have been on the floor, he’s clearly still hurt.

  4. Z

    As an eye witness, about the only thing I can offer that the box score doesn’t convey is that Staples Center was literally five degrees below zero. I guess the Lakers warm it up faster because they get twice the crowd, but the 10,000 on hand to watch the LA b-card couldn’t compete with the blasting AC. Since it was about 80 degrees outside at game time, it was even more discomforting sitting in the icy caverns of the house that Shaq built…

    Or maybe it wasn’t the AC.

    Maybe it was the Knicks shooters cooling that place down so fast. And then the Clippers in the 4th quarter.

    I have no way of knowing for sure, but I think the Knicks went about 10 minutes in the 3rd Q without a field goal. Truly painful stuff (especially since JJ2 was putting up 3s during that run). Then the Clips tried to out do them in the 4th. It was rough on the eyes.

    I sat behind the Clipper’s bench. Our old friend Dan Dickau was on it. He was yawning his way through the game. I was too. I think I even dozed off for a spell in the 3rd. I didn’t miss much, though.

    Anyway, Lee played fine when he was in there, but other than a nifty pass he was pretty invisible. He had his hands full with Kaman (who I don’t remember having such a formidable post game). Kaman also played strong interior D. I was envious…

    I have never seen a play like the one where Randolph handed the ball in bounds. It was the highlight of the game. The ref looked confused when he made the call, like he had hallucinated and blew the whistle on it. Oak used to hand the ball in, but it was always in the flow of the game and refs could let it slide. In this case it looked like Randolph was calling for Jamal to come closer, closer, closer… There was nobody else around for 40 feet. When he finally handed it in the ref just as easily could have called a 5 second violation.

    I haven’t seen a replay. Maybe there was more to the play, but it sure seemed to transpire like that to me.

    I hope not too many east coasters stayed up for this one (not that it was even possible to stay up in the 3rd quarter). Even the end, though pitifully exciting for a few moments, wasn’t infused with excitement. The Clips let ‘em have the game. The Knicks just refused to take it.

    Steph did have his moment to go from most reviled to most esteemed Knick when he hoisted a potential go ahead 3 with 40 seconds to go. It rimmed out (of course), and immediately after it Catino Mobley abused Steph’s D by backing him to about five feet, hitting a little turnaround and drawing the foul. GAME.

    You could see the look on Steph’s face. As his three bounced off the front of the rim he though: “man, I hate my life…”

  5. Ben R

    Z- Great Post, I was watching the game on my DVR and there is no reason for that handoff by Randolph. It was one of the most bizarre plays I have seen in a long time.

    Also Randolph has been painful this season. If he shoots another 20 footer while completely covered I will scream. He has only managed a TS% of over 50% once this season. It is a nightmare everytime he gets the ball.

    Meanwhile Curry has a TS% of over 60%, and has yet to have a TS% less than 50%. Yet Randolph shoots almost 7 more shots a game. Randolph is leading this team in shots , but is last in TS%. (among players who have had more than a couple shots) Isiah needs to start punishing him for his bad shot selection.

    Also the traveling turnovers for Jamal are starting to get out of hand, he gets like two a game.

  6. Brian Cronin

    Owen, you have got to check out the highlights of the game to see David Lee take a horrible pass by Jamal Crawford and turn it into a spectacular assist by Lee to Marbury for a layup.

    SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO pretty.

    And yeah, with this game being so close, it really did just come down to Q playing hurt, and being too stubborn to admit, “Hey, I can’t hit an outside shot to save my life, maybe I should not shoot them.”

    Note that the Knicks’ comeback came when they got rid of him.

    To be honest, I don’t see why Isiah, if he is insistent on riding Randolph and Curry, and pairing them with Fred Jones at the 3, doesn’t just play Lee at the 3 with Randolph and Curry.

    Jones, as the 3, is there as basically filler – well, Lee can do that job and do OTHER things, as well.

    So I would like to see a Marbury/Crawford/Lee/Randolph/Curry lineup at least ATTEMPTED (that is only if Isiah is, as he certainly appears to be, insistent on Curry and Randolph playing big minutes, and not a more equal split of time with Lee at the 4/5).

  7. paolodelac

    Are our expectations of this team this low, that we keep on looking for good signs to take away from each loss? The Knicks command the highest salary in the league, and I think it’s ridiculous that each year they’re just mediocre. I just hope they let Marbury’s contract run out and not take on any more bad contracts and hopefully bring in some players who can help out the sad story that the Knicks have become. I am a Knicks fan, have been for a very long time, and am just infuriated with the way the team’s being run.

  8. Dan Panorama

    I didn’t really see a lot of good defense. The Clippers blew a bunch of open threes and they looked more like they were playing down to the Knicks level than anything else.

  9. DNM

    Guys,
    I think the dreaded 2-10 start is upon us.
    The Isiah watch is officially underway.

    Derrick Rose in 2008!!

  10. Donnell Harvey

    We’re still only 1 game out of the 8 spot — that’s the only real goal for this year, isn’t it?

  11. jon abbey

    “Jon abbey Lee played well in the first half but was on the floor for most the disasterous 3rd quarter where we were outscored 22-9. Thats why Lee was a minus for the game.”

    FWIW, he came in after LA had already gone on a 11-0 run, and stayed in for close to 6 minutes, where LA outscored us 9-3.

  12. Owen

    KB – Is there anywhere you can find four factor information for previous years, but formatted as helpfully as you have the current years stats?

  13. STEVE

    I was also at the game…This team is clearly feeling the pressure. They have no flow on offense, the turnovers are just stupid. They play like 5 guys who have never practiced together. Crawford cannot adjust his playground game to NBA levels. I believe he is the one who should come off the bench. He just goes through long stretches where he does nothing on both ends of the floor but turn the ball over. And Over. Then a switch goes on and he remembers the game started. Q Richardson is finished. He can’t stretch the defense anymore. His 7 points a game won’t be missed if he cant hit the three. Elbow, back, always an excuse with him. This is his Third season with the team I think he killed the team last night. Teams will collapse on Curry all season. Jeffries looks terrified out there. He just doesnt want to be out there.
    Curry is not going to get any better than this. He’ll always average 18 points, 8 rebounds, 0 blocks, 2-3 turnovers. Maybe its his shoulder (excuse number gazillion), but he doesn’t have the hunger to be better. I used to say the same thing about Allan Houston. As in life sometimes you have to watch the competition and see what makes them the best, then copy it.
    Bring something new to the game every year. Curry is comfortable being average. He is completely afraid to commit a defensive foul. He’s not savvy enough to stay in the game and be aggressive. I live in LA and the Clippers used to have a center named Benoit Benjamin. Just didn’t have that next gear.
    I’m not buying into the David Lee lovefest.
    He makes great hustle plays, but he can’t hit a shot outside of 2 feet. He had all summer to work on his offensive game, where is it?. His problem is Zach is just better. Zach rebounds as well as Lee and his offense is light years better. Yes Zach takes too many jumpers but so did Ewing. Zach missed some point blank shots, but he had another double double and hadn’t played in a week. Zach plays more with his back to the basket then Patrick ever did. Lee gets killed by the good power forwards on the defensive end and can’t make them pay on the other end. Amare torched him in Phoenix. Again, its Lee’s third year, teams adjust to what you can do. For Marbury, when you are a small guard and lose your legs, your first explosive step, that takes a large part of your game. He has it in spurts, but cutting his minutes will help him and this team.
    He was never a leader, never a defender, so when his offensive ability declines with a change of offensive philosophy, its front page news.
    This team doesn’t do one thing well AS A TEAM to cover up all of these holes. If they played team defense every night, or ran a potent, precison offense, they could gut out some games but as a longtime Knick fan, they seem headed for a major overhaul. I saw them in person twice with Larry Brown in 05, and last night. Like many fans, I watch almost every game. There is no progress here. Every night, every week you say maybe, maybe this is where it clicks in, takes hold, turns the corner. Its just not happening. Not with this team, this Coach, this GM, this Owner.

  14. Frank O.

    I find it fascinating that Lee got 18 minutes last night.
    Mike, are you sure he was on the floor a lot in the third. Lee had 12 minutes at the half, and 8 boards.
    So are you saying in the six remaining minutes he played, they were all in the third period and that the devastation occurred only in those six minutes?
    It doesn’t seem to make sense.
    I think Lee is getting the shaft.
    Fred Jones arrives here, doesn’t distinguish himself here, and doesn’t play much anywhere else, and somehow moves past several good players on the depth chart?
    Isiah clearly has his favorites.

  15. xduckshoex

    “are you sure he was on the floor a lot in the third. Lee had 12 minutes at the half, and 8 boards.”

    According to the NBA.com play by play he entered the game with 5:52 left in the third and left the game with 0:05 left in the third.

  16. Dan Panorama

    I think one of the biggest problems in the game was Marbury’s ginormous chip on his shoulder. He tried quite a few times to be the hero with a crazy play, especially in the 4th, when there were obvious people inside to pass to or there was plenty of time left on the shot clock. He really wore it on his sleeve that game.

  17. Tom V. Post author

    It’s hard to get too upset at Lee getting limited minutes in those games where the team is struggling offensively. In those cases it seems reasonable to play Randolph more minutes as he provides comparable rebounding (better rebounding so far this season, actually) and better offense.

    I’m not a big fan of +/- so take this with a spoonful of salt, but so far the Knicks are 10.6 points per 100 possessions better on offense when Lee sits (and only 3.8 pp100 worse on D).

  18. CMAC

    1. What is the deal with Crawford’s travelling can he get it through his head that what he is doing is wrong. Then when he is called he has that dumb look on his face like the refs just made it up.
    2. Why is Q playing i would rather have Chandler out their. Q can’t defend anymore and he can’t shoot he is a waste of space.
    3. Z-BO needs to take like 2 or 3 steps in and he can nail that shot all day. I also think he should put the ball on the floor more I think he can get the the basket a little more but I do love his rebounding. I think that Lee’s boards are going to drop a bit this year playing with Z-BO because he just grabs everything.
    4. I really like what Curry is doing this year. He seems a little more interested. He is also getting triple teamed all night plus the ref’s don’t really give him any respect by calling fouls for him. In the cavs game if you looked at Lebron wwrong you would get called for a foul. But Curry gets hacked all night long.
    5. Marbury looks high all the time

  19. jon abbey

    Lee needs to be playing more SF, that’s what the complaint is, especially when Q is clearly hurt. I would have rather seen Chandler out there also last night too.

  20. caleb

    Lee’s minutes don’t need to come at the expense of Randolph. It would make more sense to take them from Curry… or let DL play the 3, against opponents who aren’t totally perimeter-oriented – guys like Carmelo, or Ryan Gomes.

    I’m not trying to knock Curry; he’s cut down dramatically on TOs and has been very good offensively. BUT you have to find a way to get your best players on the floor, which means DL getting 20 minutes is crazy.

    He’s had some rough games lately, but overall, he’s been pretty good. He’s not an offensive force but he’s not a liability, either. He cuts well, passes well, good finisher, makes free throws, doesn’t turn it over. And Zach — he might be average or above on offense, in general, but this year he’s been awful. Maybe if Curry played a bit less (say, 25mpg) Zach could get closer to the basket.

    Laugh if you will, but Balkman will make a big impact if he ever gets healthy. I believe he will turn out to be an all-league defender in the next few ears. fyi his +/- for the season is a ridiculous +14 a game – almost all on the defensive end. If he were playing starter’s minutes, we wouldn’t need Jones or Collins for more than spot duty.

    So far the season is more or less what anyone should have expected. The win-lost will improve some, as the schedule gets easier and the team gets healthier. An 8th seed isn’t out of the question – but, as a fan, I’d focus on developing the younger players, and conserving assets for possible moves in the next year and a half (i.e. don’t buy out Marbury or trade the draft pick).

    The only feasible ways to improve this year would be:
    - play more Lee, Balkman and Robinson (injuries aren’t helping)
    - get help from Chandler (next year or beyond is more realistic)
    - For a reasonable price, find a true point guard who can defend. Say, an Earl Watson.

  21. Donald Trump

    The only way that this team (Crawford, Curry, Starbury) will play to their potential is with some tough Wood Hayes coaching. From what I read in the papers, IT is waking up to this.

    Larry Brown knew it before he took the job.

    Start sitting the guys who are day dreaming on the court and you are guaranteed tougher play by everyone. But you have to be consistent (don’t let a schmuck back onto the court immerdiately after he’s acted like a schmuck).

    I don’t read a thing into this game. It’s been a goofy week.

    The 8 spot is the goal and this team has enought talent to get there.

  22. Ewing

    paolodelac Said:
    “Are our expectations of this team this low, that we keep on looking for good signs to take away from each loss? ”

    It makes chuckle when I see Knicks fans on other forums talking about “the good signs” or how it was a “good game overall”, blah, blah, blah… The fact is it was another loss.

  23. Geoff

    everyone agrees that Straighjacket Marbury has some type of mental issue, right? All joking aside, he seems mentally challenged in some way. He’s just not all there. A great quote from him last night: “I’m here to play basketball. I’m just going to concentrate on that. I’m going to leave it internal like Isiah said. And I would respect if everyone could respect that.”
    WTF?!?!?! I would respect if everyone could respect that? does he mean APPRECIATE if everyone could respect that? All else aside, Marbury is the genesis of most of the problems on the team. If the rest of our role player roster had that one guy, a Steve Nash type that leads and motivates and is a glue for the team, I can’t help but believe they would feel together, collected and play more confident.

  24. Brian Cronin

    I’m not going to call Marbury mentally challenged, but yes, I think he definitely has SOME mental issues he needs to resolve.

  25. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    KB – Is there anywhere you can find four factor information for previous years, but formatted as helpfully as you have the current years stats?

    Let’s talk about this offline.

    but I think the Knicks went about 10 minutes in the 3rd Q without a field goal.

    Here is the last shot made by the Knicks in the 3rd:

    Curry Hook Shot: Made (10 PTS)
    Assist: Crawford (4 AST)
    9:50 [NYK 50-43]

    They don’t hit another basket until 11:06 in the 4th.

    we lost this game almost entirely because of Q, he never should have been on the floor, he?s clearly still hurt.

    In my mind there is nothing worse than a player hurting his team by going out on the floor and trying to play when he clearly can’t. Actually there are two things worse: first is when the said player acts like he isn’t hurt. Richardson took 11 shots with a bad elbow. He hit 3 of them. He shot an airball from downtown. He clearly wasn’t able to play, and he shouldn’t have been out there for 28 minutes.

    But what’s even worse is when a coach doesn’t take that player out. I can understand a player wanting to play hurt, but ultimately it’s up to the coach to decide if said player is helping or hurting the team. Q was clearly hurting the team. Isiah could have gone to Jeffries, Lee, Jones, or even Wilson Chandler.

  26. Brian Cronin

    So that’s why I can’t be TOO pissed off about the loss.

    Clippers are a decent team, and the Knicks were absolutely killed by Q, and that is unlikely to be the case in future games (likewise, it will be unlikely that Randolph will continue to be unable to hit shots from 2 inches next to the basket).

    Although, really, Thomas cannot keep playing Jones at the 3 without giving Lee a shot at it.

  27. Islamatron

    Please People what 3′s in the NBA can D.Lee defend?

    Lebron? Melo? Pierce? Tyshaun? T.Mac? Josh Howard? Joe Johnson? Marion? MAnu? Caron? Rashaard? Gerald Wallace?

    The NBA doesn’t have 3′s like Anthony Mason or Xavier McDaniel anymore… D.Lee would be a waste to the Knicks at the three… especially with Balkman, Jeffries & Chandler sitting down.

    You people are fooling yourselves if You think D.Lee can play the 3 in the NBA these days.

    D.Lee should be he First Big man off the bench… IT just needs to interchange the Bigs Z-bo, Curry & D.Lee more often… dont leave them on the floor for more than 6 minutes at a time or they(mainly Z-bo & Curry) start to wear down, get tired, disinterested)

  28. RKade32

    Brian-

    WHAT?! You can’t be too pissed off by this loss? C’mon, don’t let all of this losing drop your standards! You should be pissed off that they lost – the Clippers were missing their best player and we still lost the game (same thing with the Heat).

    That is pathetic and you should stop making excuses for this team like “Q hurt us.” They played poorly, they were coached poorly, they have no leadership anywhere in the organization (let alone the basketball court), and they deserved to lose.

  29. Frank O.

    This Yahoo Sports story does not bode well for the Knicks as a team. The dysfunction is getting out of hand. First the Marbury-Isiah blowup, then Marbury abandoning the team, then Isiah basically ignoring the will of his team as a whole, and Marbury’s lame, lame apology:

    LOS ANGELES ? The New York Knicks began to rise from their locker-room seats Wednesday evening, stretching their legs one last time before running onto the Staples Center court to face the Los Angeles Clippers, when a voice came from the back corner of the room.

    ?I want you guys to know I?m sorry,? Stephon Marbury said, ?for everything you?ve had to go through the past couple days.?

    The players turned to look at Marbury, waiting to hear if the Knicks? prodigal point guard had anything to add. Over the previous 48 hours, Marbury had threatened to ?bury? his coach; left the team in Phoenix to fly home to New York; reportedly incurred a team-issued fine worth just under $200,000; and, finally, jetted back across the country to Los Angeles to rejoin his teammates.

    Marbury, however, stayed quiet. He hadn?t even bothered to stand up to issue his brief apology.

    This is what the Knicks had come to expect from their $20 million star. The size of the gesture didn?t matter as much as its lack of sincerity.

    And that?s why, less than 24 hours earlier, when Isiah Thomas dispatched Jamal Crawford to find out how the players would react if and when Marbury rejoined the team, all of them voted against allowing him to play. Thomas, according to one person who spoke with Crawford, had pledged to hold out Marbury if even a single Knick didn?t want him on the court.

    So how did Thomas react to the team?s unanimous vote?

    He sat Marbury until late in the first quarter then played him nearly 34 of the game?s remaining 39 minutes.

    The Knicks lost, of course, falling 84-81 to an injury-riddled Clippers team that many in the league expected to be anchoring the bottom of the Western Conference. Marbury clanged a late 3-pointer, then was powerless to stop Cuttino Mobley from backing him down for the clinching turnaround bank shot.

    Afterward, Thomas said his personal feelings toward Marbury wouldn?t keep him from putting the team in the best position to win.

    ?I?ve played with people I don?t like. I?ve won with people I don?t like,? Thomas said. ?We?re a professional basketball team. My job is to try and win the basketball game.

    ?However I feel about a person, that doesn?t matter. We?re tying to win. Whatever happened in the past is in the past.?

    That?s doubtful. Marbury said after the game that he?s ?cool? and can ?walk with my head up? and that ?going forward, I?m fine.? The problem is that many of his teammates aren?t fine. They?re fed up with him.

    The Knicks lived with his bizarre television appearance. They listened as he admitted to having sex with a team intern in the back of a truck. And when Thomas let Marbury know Monday that he was planning to bring him off the bench against the Phoenix Suns, they even weathered the resulting firestorm. One person on the plane, confirming a report in the New York Daily News, said Marbury threatened to ?bury (Thomas) and the Knicks? with unseemly information about the coach.

    But when Marbury left his teammates high and dry in the desert? That was too much.

    The Knicks let out a collective sigh of relief when told Marbury had left. For one night, at least, they didn?t have to stomach his selfishness. But as soon as Marbury walked into the visitors? locker room Wednesday, smiling as if he had just crisscrossed 9,000 miles in 48 hours for the sheer pleasure of pumping up his frequent-flier account, the team was once again on edge.

    Thomas said Marbury needs to provide leadership and defense to win back his starting job, and that should be good for a few more laughs. Leadership? From the guy who deserted his team? Even if Marbury left with Thomas? permission, as Marbury claims, he still left.

    In spite of their frustration, the Knicks don?t have anyone willing to challenge Marbury, and they?re quickly losing faith in their coach doing so. Thomas, perhaps weighed down by his role in the team?s recent sexual harassment lawsuit, has seen his own leadership erode. Some nights he?s miserable after a loss; on others he almost doesn?t seem to care. The players don?t know what to make of the mixed message.

    As a result, even Marbury?s harshest critics in the locker room don?t think he deserves full blame for the team?s 2-5 start. Too many players have played too poorly for it to be the fault of one.

    Still, the Knicks are tired of being the league?s longest running joke, and Marbury has been their clown prince. From Larry Brown?s settlement to Anucha Browne Sanders? lawsuit to Marbury?s current feud with Thomas, the circus has stayed too long in New York, even if the rest of the NBA continues to find it entertaining.

    ?I could have taken LSD, hallucinated AND been a great writer and I still couldn?t have made this stuff up,? said one rival team executive.

    So, for now, the Knicks? runaway train continues to careen off the tracks with Marbury and Thomas sharing the engineer?s chair. Everybody seems to be enjoying the ride except those actually on board.

  30. Frank O.

    Another blogger suggested that Isiah playing Marbury despite the team, at Zeke’s request, voting that he sit Marbury, meant that Marbury might really have some dirt on Zeke…

    It’s pure speculation, but you can see that Isiah appears to be losing the team, if you believe the story.

  31. Z

    “Every night, every week you say maybe, maybe this is where it clicks in, takes hold, turns the corner. Its just not happening. Not with this team, this Coach, this GM, this Owner.”

    Steve– well said.

  32. LA

    I have been a lifelong Knicks fan who now lives in LA. I was at the game last night. It was pathetic. IT had the right idea keeping Marbury on the bench in the 1st quarter. I would have been happy to see him sit all night but with Collins out, IT had to use him. Marbury actually looked hungry and interested for a few minutes when he first came in. As always, I was fooled by a moment of something going well for the Knicks. Fastforward to the second half. IT puts Marbury in the 3rd way too early. That’s when the team basically collapsed. IT wants Marbury to be a leader and defense minded, but that has never been his game. Now it’s an all out feud between them. Marbury won’t change. If IT want’s leadership, he needs to provide it himself. Use Marbury for what he is (or was), which is a scoring machine from the point. He had to know this about Marbury when he traded for him, and if he didn’t then, then he should certainly know it by now. It’s just disgusting and unwatchable at this point.

    Also, Jeffries has no buisness being on the court. He is a zero on offense and his defense is only average. He can’t rebound, pass or block shots. On offense, the way it is designed he floats to the corner, as though he could actually hit a shot from there if he got the ball. Let Chandler play when Balkman and Q are hurt. It would at least provide a chance of success. With Jeffries, there is no hope of anything good happening. Plus, it is important to see if Chandler can actually play as time goes on. There will come a day when Marbury will be gone. This team needs to know if the current youth (Chandler, Morris, Balkman, Lee, Robinson, Collins) are enough to keep going forward. This means that Morris should also get any minutes that IT might otherwise think should go to Malik Rose.

    Lastly, did anyone else notice that IT lost the game at the end with his use of timeouts and play calls with 18 seconds left. Not to say they would have actually won, but at least they would have had a chance to go to overtime. I understand that IT the exec stinks, but for a HOF point guard, I would at least expect good play calls and clock management at the end of games. The first timeout with 18 sec was correct but when the play didn’t work, he either needed the team to take the ball out with 11 sec left and down 3 without a timeout and try a two or use his last timeout to set up a 3. Wouldn’t that be the sort of thing a coach would talk about with his team in the first timeout he used so everybody was on the same page? What was he thinking? Maybe he was still thinking about what dirt Marbury has on him. Instead they used their last timeout to get a 2 and that left them still down 1 with about 7 sec left and no timeouts left. After Magette hit some free throws, the Knicks inbounded with 6 sec left. I was sitting under the basket when they inbounded the ball and Curry was the only one who thought to come up to get the inbounds pass. I could see the look on Curry’s face at that moment was of complete shock and confusion. He clearly had no idea why he was the one to get the pass at that point. He had no idea who to get the ball to with 6 sec left and the clock winding down. Robinson and Marbury had run far away and Crawford was double covered for the last shot. What coach leaves his team in that position at the end of a game? Well, we all know who.

  33. Frank

    OK here’s what I have to say about the Knicks so far.

    Honestly — best players on the floor for the Knicks this year: Curry, Randolph, and Nate. Curry has looked more interested at the defensive end, turned the ball over less, has shot FT well since the first 2 games — all things we were asking for. Randolph, outside of his poor jumpshooting especially last night (I’ll give him a pass having not played in a game in a week and having had a recent death in the family), has been a great addition. Great rebounder. Good around the basket (should do that WAY more). Could try harder on defense. And Nate has been covered on this board already.

    Other players:

    David Lee — has been mediocre AT BEST, and the game in Phoenix made it just so painfully obvious that his main value is when there are many other scorers on the floor and he is essentially ignored. He has an ability to be near the basket when someone else drives, and so far this year, that is all that separates him from someone like Reggie Evans. He has mysteriously lost his ability to finish in traffic, which is very disturbing. IF I had a fantasy basketball team I’d play any frontcourt player against the Knicks because you know Lee will get blocked 3x/game.

    And the idea that he could guard a small forward in this league is honestly laughable. I usually agree with much of what he has to say, but jon abbey even putting “David Lee”, “defend”, and “Carmelo Anthony” in the same sentence is just ridiculous. Carmelo would score 50 on Lee unless Lee got double team help on every possession. I guarantee you many teams in the league would go isolation every play on Lee if we put him out there to guard a SF. There are probably no more than 3 or 4 small forwards that Lee could guard on a regular basis (let’s see, the immortal Ryan Gomes, maybe Luke Walton, maybe someone on Toronto) and unfortunately, probably more than 2-3 SF’s that he can score on consistently. He could outrebound many of them, but that would require him leaving his man on the perimeter. His position is at the 4 where he is not a great defender either. He can’t play center so he can’t really fill in much for Curry. And Zach Randolph is just a better player, pure and simple. So that leaves maybe 10 minutes in the game where Randolph can play 5 and Lee can play 4, and maybe 15-20 minutes where Randolph is on the bench or when he can fill in at the 3 against the other team’s backup SF. His play this year just doesn’t justify any more time than that.

    Q — You’re all right that Q belongs on the bench right now until he gets healthy. I think he can help us when that elbow is better, but now he’s just a black hole. I did like seeing his impressive post-up game though… he should do that more.

    Balkman — I love the energy he brings, but I get nervous when people start saying all defensive team. I worry because 1/2 the time I watch him I think all defensive team, and the other 1/2 I think he looks a lot like Jerome Williams.

    Marbury — I used to love the guy because he’s a NY guy and did a bunch of nice stuff for the community, but he really has to go. You can’t just leave your team like that especially when the team is shorthanded already.

    Crawford — not sure why he keeps getting called for carrying — I watch and don’t see how what he does is different than so many other players in the league. I highly doubt it is different than what he’s been doing his whole life.

    Fred Jones — I just don’t see his value. I haven’t found him to be a good defender. He can’t shoot. He can’t penetrate. He doesn’t pass well. Why does this guy get minutes and Wilson Chandler gets no burn? I just don’t get it.

  34. retropkid

    David Lee will have nice O rebound stats if the Knicks continue to shoot bricks all night long…

    Ever notice the teams that miss the most attempts often have high O rebound stats? The yield isn’t often worth the cost…rather just have my guys shoot 55% for the game, no need for O boards…

    I’m just starting to dream that maybe, just maybe, we will be done with Zeke and Steph soon after all…a boy can dream….

  35. Count Zero

    There’s no longer any point in denial — the New York Knickerbockers are the most dysfunctional franchise in all of professional sports. Was it just one short week ago that Nate started the home opener with that speech about “playing harder” etc.?

    If I were the owner of the Knicks, I would fire Zeke, buyout half these guys’ contracts, sign some guys from Europe and the NBDL, and go on the court with Whoopie Goldberg as my head coach. At least that would be entertaining from time to time. I really feel for guys like Lee, Nate and Balkman. They must be wondering what they did to deserve this.

    It’s like a bad traffic accident — I don’t want to see it, but my eyes are drawn to it every time.

  36. Mr. Black

    Just about every player on the Knicks owes Marbury a great big “Thank You.”

    You see, without Marbury’s antics the fans, coaching staff, ownership, and media might have time to look at some of the other glaring problems on this team. For example…

    1) Jamal Crawford. His defense has been worse than Marbury’s in that he refuses to fight over a screen. Marbury at least tries. I have actually seen Crawford trying to go under a screen while the screener is moving away. This creates even more space for the ball handler. I have also got into the habit of yelling “Travel” anytime he starts a hesitation move with the ball. I find that the officials agree with me nearly every time.

    2)Eddy Curry. He drops, fumbles, or misses more passes than he should. In crunch time I have twice watched his poor screening of the defensive player allow them to poke away an entry pass. One of the first things a big man learns is to screen off the post defender, the second is to MEET THE BALL.

    3) David Lee. David Lee, the golden boy, has not been able to hit the broad side of a barn lately. Now before you start attacking me, let me say, I LOVE DAVID LEE. However, he has not looked good on offense the last three games. He was awful on offense in his starts against the Heat and Suns. If he cant score at the PF, there is NO WAY that he will be able to play 3 for this team. He lacks Blakman’s defensive speed and Chandler’s ability to score away from the basket.

    4) Q. Richardson. Q seems to think that he can shoot the Knicks out of their funk but he ends up making it worse. We all know Q does not like Marbury, but did anyone else watching the Clippers game get the impression that he was trying to “out-Marbury” Marbury. Q forced a ton of bad shots and contributed mightily to the poor offensive flow. I think Q was trying to assert himself as the team leader, which I would be all for if he hadnt left his jumper in NYC.

    5) Fred Jone. No one has mentioned whatever the Hell Fred Jones is growing on his chin. Really, WTF is that?! You shaved everthing but a row of hair that is lined up single file? And it’s at that funky angle, it’s uglier that his free throw mechanics. Speaking of which, did anyone notice Marbury on the bench trying hard not to laugh at Jones taking two free throws early in the first? I just know he was thinking “Yeah, this ugly free throw shooting, razor blade challenged, first round laugh pick really should be starting over me.” As mad as I am with Steph right now, I couldnt help but join Steph and laugh at Jones’s free throws.

    6) Jared’s, Mardy’s, Renaldo’s, and Rose’s complete and total lack of an offensive game. No need to explain.

    7) Randolph’s new found love of 19 foot contested jumpers. I only bring this up because i know he can do better. Had he worked inside, he may have forced Chris Caveman to pick up a few fouls. I will forgive this if he keeps pulling down 15+ rebounds.

    8) Isiah’s offensive play calling. I defended his play calling last year, when I did not have NBA League Pass. But having actually watched all the games thus far, I do not see how he is helping this team execute.

    So a great big “Thank you” to Steph for hiding all the problems on this team. Excuse me, I’m going to go track Derrick Rose’s and OJ Mayo’s profile at http://www.draftexpress.com.

  37. jon abbey

    damn, a lot of bile here since I checked last.

    “jon abbey even putting ?David Lee?, ?defend?, and ?Carmelo Anthony? in the same sentence is just ridiculous.”

    I didn’t write that.

  38. Mark

    I’ve been waiting for a good soap opera since Beverly Hills 90210 went off the air. Thanks Isiah, Starbury, Jimmy Dolan, and all the co-stars. I can’t wait for the next episode.

  39. brian quinnett's left nipple

    Barry Bonds was just indicted on perjury and obstruction of justice charges. Any chance that the Knicks can sign him to play shooting guard? He seems ideal.

  40. Isiah Thomas

    That is an in-house matter, and we’ll continue to keep it in-house. However, Barry Bonds is welcome, and we want him as a member of this team.

  41. Owen

    Re: Zach Randolph is just the better player….

    He has an abysmal ts% so far this year. Really, really horrible. 45%. He is averaging 11 more points per game than Lee, while using 14 more possessions.

    Another way of saying things. Randolph has scored 39 more points, taken 46 more field goal attempts, 13 more ft, while committing 11 more turnovers.

    Lee has had a few bad games, and looked overmatched against the combo of Marion and Stoudemire, but that happens to a lot of people. Lee is not a terrible scorer. Last year, he scored 2 points less than the average power forward per 48 without having plays run for him.

    And although I have been prone to panic, his numbers are actually very good so far. He has posted a WS of 50 in 177 minutes, which is very respectable and better than the 44 Randolph has offered in seven more minutes.

  42. Big Papa

    Knicks Suck, I was a Knicks fan but will no longer root for them as long as Isiah Thomas is a part of the organization, the Knicks thrive on the incompetent uneducated fan who wants to watch street ball instead of watching quality basketball
    Fire Isiah, the talent is there but he cannot get them to play defense together as a team, get someone in there who can!

  43. T-Mart

    “I?ve been waiting for a good soap opera since Beverly Hills 90210 went off the air. Thanks Isiah, Starbury, Jimmy Dolan, and all the co-stars. I can?t wait for the next episode.”

    I gotta be honest here, I think we have long since departed 90210 and entered the Melrose Place lexicon of soap operas.

  44. Mike K. (KnickerBlogger)

    “Lastly, did anyone else notice that IT lost the game at the end with his use of timeouts and play calls with 18 seconds left. Not to say they would have actually won, but at least they would have had a chance to go to overtime.”

    Thank you for reminding me about that. I caught it at the time, and thought it was ludicrous. How do you waste your last timeout at that point?

  45. MarkMets

    I’ve been a fan since the mid 70′s and right now The Knicks are just Awful…Marbury/Isiah it’s a complete and utter joke and/or circus—I have slowly (over the last few years) lost the desire to take them seriously and follow them and we’re ONLY 7 GAMES INTO THIS SEASON!! How is it that teams like the Celtics-NBA/Cowboys-NFL have a few down years and make the right decisions and are back on top in a few short years?!…MEANWHILE–I can’t see this KNICK TRAINWRECK correcting itself anytime soon!!! It’s Terrible and there is really no hope…anybody out there agree?/disagree?…WTF Isiah…Enough Already!!!!

  46. Gmal

    The thing that this team doesn’t do the most is play as a TEAM. No stats can measure chemistry but everyone can see it.

  47. Brian Cronin

    Lastly, did anyone else notice that IT lost the game at the end with his use of timeouts and play calls with 18 seconds left. Not to say they would have actually won, but at least they would have had a chance to go to overtime.

    Yup, it’s in the game thread. :)

  48. Frank O.

    I have to say, I was so looking forward to this season before the Anucha case took the air out of me.
    But I tried to shrug that off, got ribbed a bit on this blog for my negativity, and bucked up.
    Then the season started and that Denver game, although flawed, got me a little excited.
    But then the series of losses since have only highlighted virtually every known weakness of the Knicks.
    And this Isiah-Marbury weirdness has about driven me to think it’s near time to blow this project up.
    I think if we traded some of these guys, they would actually go to functional franchises and play good solid basketball. I don’t see any stars on our team. Lee has potential, even though he appears softer and somewhat out of shape this year. Balkman has the kind of will and energy that is good for any team, and Robinson is clearly showing a desire to improve.
    But how do these players succeed in this environment?
    Until Isiah and Dolan are gone, we are destined to be offered the likes of Marbury.
    How doesn’t a fan just feel helpless when they read that the coach asks the team if a misbehaving player should be playing, and the team says no,and the coach plays him anyway?
    Isiah said he wants Marbury to lead and play defense. How does a player lead a team that no longer respects him? And no player can be an effective defender without teammates watching his back.
    Good defensive teams play sound team defense.
    And how does a coach have the respect of his team when he takes the time to ask them what the think, and then he ignores a a unanimous response in favor of the offending player?
    If I’m a Knick player and I hear Isiah say he loves every player on the team, I think, “Liar. He chose this punk over the rest of us.”
    Marbury is 31 and Isiah is talking about his “potential.” I mean, we’re not talking about a kid here. We’re talking about a 31-year-old point guard nearing the sunset of his career whose game is no different today than it was at 21, only hes slower and less athletic.
    So I wish Zeke would just shut up about Marbury’s potential when he’s got young kids on his squad who actually care.

  49. Brian Cronin

    I don’t really begrudge folks for the knee-jerk anger – I’d just prefer to see better here.

    I’d like to think that we could objectively look at the team and what they need to do and not do.

    Unless you’re just taking a “I will not root for Isiah and/or Steph” tact, which I can respect.

    Looking at this game objectively, as bad as the Knicks played in the third quarter, if Q did not play this game (and his minutes given to anyone but Jared Jeffries), the Knicks most likely win. It’s a 3-point loss in which Q took EIGHT jumpers and made one of them, while clearly hurt!! That was an easily correctable event.

    As for Lee at the 3, we’re not talking Lee over Balkman or Q here – it’s Lee over Fred Jones, who is basically useless. Q (healthy) or Balkman are better fits at the 3 than Lee, and heck, probably Chandler, too – but if it is Fred Jones getting the minutes, Lee should be given a look. If he can’t play it, fine – but it should be tried out, it’s not like he hasn’t played the 3 in the past (during his rookie season, no less).

  50. Brian Cronin

    That comment, Frank, I can also completely understand (mostly wanted to make it clear that Frank posted his comment while I was writing mine ;)).

  51. Ewing

    It’s hard to believe what has happened to the Knicks and the Garden in the 12 years since I’ve been covering the team. There was no better job in sports. Don’t get me wrong, there were problems back then as well. But there was accountability. There was strong leadership. They acted in a professional manner. They were good people. Tradition mattered back then as did treating people with respect and dignity.

    And for that, I want to formally apologize to former Garden president Dave Checketts, former president Ernie Grunfeld, former head coach Jeff Van Gundy and mostly to the great Patrick Ewing. I’m sorry for holding you to the standard of making it to the NBA Finals or the season was a failure. Even though you four gentlemen held yourselves to the same standard it was unrealistic to think it could be done every year. But you did come close. I often wonder how you four would have reacted to a 33-win season. Something tells me you wouldn’t have thought, “hey, contract extensions for everybody!”

    But then, something tells me you wouldn’t have promoted an intern who admitted to having an affair with a married player who admitted to calling another female employee bitch.

    You would not have allowed certain unqualified employees to think they have the run of the place. You would not have played your point guard 34 minutes the day after he went AWOL. You would not have signed Jerome James. You would not have dismantled the Marty Glickman radio booth for the almighty dollar. Marv Albert would still be calling games. Patrick Ewing would be a coach. Allan Houston would be in the front office along with Larry Johnson.

    Credit: http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/knicks/2007/11/how_the_oncemighty_knicks_have.html

  52. jon abbey

    “I?m sorry for holding you to the standard of making it to the NBA Finals or the season was a failure. Even though you four gentlemen held yourselves to the same standard it was unrealistic to think it could be done every year. But you did come close.”

    what gibberish, if Houston’s shot bounces out at the end against Miami or if the refs don’t fix the deciding game against the Pacers, they make exactly zero Finals under Van Gundy. not to mention what a disaster he was in Houston…

  53. Z

    ?’Lastly, did anyone else notice that IT lost the game at the end with his use of timeouts and play calls with 18 seconds left. Not to say they would have actually won, but at least they would have had a chance to go to overtime’… Thank you for reminding me about that. I caught it at the time, and thought it was ludicrous. How do you waste your last timeout at that point?”

    I didn’t understand the clock management at the end either. Without the benefit of commentary or replay it seemed that Isiah put four long range shooters (Jamal, Steph, Nate, and Q) on the floor along with Randolph, down three in the closing seconds. The diagramed play out of the time out was for Steph to simply drive the ball straight to the basket for an easy two, then to foul. Since Steph does that anyway, why use the timeout at all. It seems to me that if you know you’re going for two, and the other team is conceding the two, just do it and save the TO.

    There were too many times last season where the Knicks were left to rush the final play due to a lack of timeouts. It appears to be Isiah’s style– perhaps he thinks timeouts at the end of games are overrated. It worked once last year (against the Jazz I think) where Marbury sprinted down and scored the game winner. But that was only one instance out of many failures. I think he needs to either rethink his strategy (benefit of the doubt), or get his head out of his ass.

  54. Renaldo Balkman's Agent

    “Patrick Ewing would be a coach. Allan Houston would be in the front office along with Larry Johnson.”

    LJ ain’t no angel…

    Speaking of eight children with seven different wives, did you notice that Jason Caffey filed for bankruptcy? I guess the burden of infidelity became too great to bear.

    Too bad Stacey Augmon wasn’t available “to take care” things for him too.

    No one can turn down Stacey Augmon and a suitcase full of money twice, can they?

    Putting LJ in the front office to clean up the garden is like putting Larry Craig in the White House to clean up Washington.

  55. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, the notion that Patrick Ewing was some sort of virtuous guy is odd to me.

    Those Knicks were better than these Knicks, but it didn’t have anything to do with how “noble” they were.

    They had a Hall of Fame center and a number of All-Stars.

  56. caleb

    Does anyone else think we’re blowing the Marbury thing out of proportion? When you spend a full post logging the isolation camera on David Lee (nice article, btw) I guess it’s natural than a real front-page sports section story becomes too big to comprehend.

    Of course he’s being a whiny baby, and it was bad, but is anyone surprised? Other teams not in NY go through these things every now and then. Isx this why the Knicks are mediocre, or worse? No, it’s their limitations on the court.

    Bench Marbury? Does anyone think we wouldn’t if we had a backup point? We have 4 shooting guards and Mardy Collins – this probably ends the fantasy that he is a future replacement.

    Blow up the team? Aside from the rookie contracts there might not be a player on the roster you could GIVE away, in a “name your price” deal. The only exceptions would be Marbury and Rose, and that’s because their contracts expire next year. To buy them out is giving away major assets for free.

    So… patience.

  57. AJJA

    Just wanted to say that this a great website and that I’ve been a long time reader and now a first time poster. Anyway…

    I agree that this team doesn’t need to be blown up. I think we need to give the younger guys more playing time. The more they play, hopefully the more they get comfortable with each other. There’s been so much change and turmoil that it must be hard for them to get in a nice rhythm.

    We obviously have to get rid of IT. Other than the fact that his defensive and offensive schemes are questionable, it seems he’s lost the respect of his players. Let Herb Williams coach for the rest of the season, it’s not like he could do any worse than IT, can he?

    As much as I dislike Marbury, I would keep him just for his expiring contract. Keep him on the bench the rest of the season and let him come in when the offense needs a jolt (not that he’s been doing that great lately). For the rest of his time here, I think that he needs to play less, but have specific instructions as to what he should be doing/looking for when he’s on the court.

    I feel stupid because at the beginning of every season I have so much hope for this franchise, yet 7 games in and I feel completely deflated. Get rid of Thomas, get rid of Dolan (some how), bench the older players, bring in a coach who’s defensive minded, and let’s see how the season plays out. If we stink, at least we get a high lottery pick.

  58. Islamatron

    Anyone think That Marbury’s & Ben Wallace’s struggles this year could be due to those cheap ass Starbury shoes?

    I have a couple pair that I play ball in, and while they are ok for me(as long as I add an aftermarket insole) I am no World class athelete(at least not in B-ball).

    These cats are in these $15 shoes on a daily basis(assuming they wear them in practice too) and the pounding is immense… and these shoes have very little cushioning.

    Any thoughts?

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